Mild winter breeds healthy crop of insects
It's a definite sign that summer is here when pesky bugs crawl back into our lives.
This year is different, though. More bugs appear to be crawling across walls, counters, floors, refrigerators, patios and furniture.
Insects are definitely more prolific this year than in past years, said Sy Nyhart, Leavenworth County agriculture extension agent.
"It goes back to the fact that we have had a mild winter," Nyhart said.
The predominant nuisances this year include ants, box elder bugs and oriental ladybugs.
"They are merely nuisance insects," Nyhart said. "They don't really cause much damages."
Nyhart said the extension office receives up to 30 or 40 calls a week from people wanting to know how to eradicate their bug problem.
"It's very difficult to control," Nyhart said. "None of the sprays have little or no residual. You have to spray directly on them."
Using the right chemical and spraying directly on the pests increases the chances of getting rid of the problem but does not always work. Nyhart said they might still come out later.
The most effective chemical spray to use is called Diazinon, he said.
Nyhart recommends not spraying indoors, although sprays are available. Inside the house, one should vacuum up insects and dispose of the vacuum bag right after vacuuming; otherwise the bugs will crawl out.
Two other types of insects to look for this year are spider mites and bag worms.
If spider mites aren't controlled, they easily can suck the juice out of plants and kill them.
"Bag worms have increasingly become a problem over the last couple of years," Nyhart said. "Now is the time to spray."
Nyhart said Sevin or Malithion sprays both could effectively control the spread of bag worms.